FAA now using PKWare
The Federal Aviation Administration agreed Tuesday to purchase security software from Milwaukee-based PKWare for 50,000 of its desktop computers.
The software, SecureZIP, shrinks and encrypts computer files so they can be moved and stored easily, without being left open to hacking or security threats. SecureZIP meets the federal government’s requirements for data security, and the installation will cover the computers of everyone within the FAA who has access to sensitive information, said Tim Kennedy, president and chief operating officer of PKWare.
The installation comes three months after hackers stole 48 files from a computer server at the FAA, which is part of the Department of Transportation. Two of the stolen files contained the personal information of more than 45,000 current and recently retired employees. As a result, the FAA had to provide credit-monitoring services.
PKWare’s founder, the late Phil Katz, pioneered and popularized the data compression system commonly referred to as “zipping.” Since PKWare developed SecureZIP four years ago, more than 100 government entities have begun using the software, including the Department of Defense, Department of Justice and Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Most recently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services installed the zipping software.
The company’s government contracts give PKWare an advantage over competitors, particularly when important federal agencies are willing to talk about how their employees use PKWare software, Kennedy said.
“The government’s use is, to a certain extent, defining laws about privacy and the security of electronic information,” he said. When private companies “buy a solution like ours, they’re going to be in compliance with the mandates from the federal government on how they’re required to handle personal information.”
“Our opportunity now is that we can start to expand from within the Department of Transportation, in terms of more sales of both desktop technology” and other security software, Kennedy said.
Glad to see that the FAA is wising up, even if it is in reaction to a security breach as opposed to be proactive move. Kudos to PKWare for providing a security solution that meets federal government mandates for handling personal private information.